Attachments & Garnishments
Once a tax bill has become delinquent, the Tax Collector has the authority (given by NCGS 105-368(a)) to garnish the taxpayer’s wages or to attach rent, bank deposits, or other funds that are being held on behalf of the taxpayer to satisfy the debt. By law, the employer, bank, renter, etc MUST send the funds to the Tax Collector, including service or collection fees, to satisfy the debt. The employer, bank, or renter is notified at the same time as the delinquent taxpayer whose funds are being attached.
NCGS 105-368(g) states that the fee for serving notice of garnishment is the same as the fee for serving notice of process in a civil action. Typically, the total fee that the taxpayer under garnishment/attachment would be charged is $60, because both the taxpayer and the bank/employer are served notice and the per notice amount is $30 as set by NCGS 7A-311(a)(1).
The employer is required to send 10% of the taxpayer's gross wages per pay period until the amount requested is paid, including the service or collection fee, or until they receive a Release of Garnishment from the Tax Office.
Bank Account Attached
The bank will immediately place a 10-day hold on any funds on deposit up to the amount needed to satisfy the taxpayer's debt. During the 10-day holding period the taxpayer may choose to pay the total amount due including service or collection fee with cash or certified funds, and the tax office will send a Release of Attachment to the bank. If the taxpayer does not pay before the 10 days has passed, the bank will withdraw the funds and send them to the Tax Collector. NOTE: the bank may also charge the taxpayer a separate fee for processing the attachment.
Renters are required by law to send the total rent payment each month until the total due including service or collection fees is paid in full. If the taxpayer chooses to voluntarily pay, the taxpayer must do so in the office in Hillsborough. Upon receiving the payment, the tax office will send a Request for Release of Attachment to the renters. the taxpayer may also voluntarily make a partial payment or pay the balance in full at any time during the garnishment period.
Attachments can also include funds due to owners of low-cost housing as subsidies for rent (Section 8), Escheated funds held by the state, and funds awarded to taxpayers as a result of a lawsuit.